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Club: Paul's Achilles' heel is libertarian Ideology

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The Club for Growth, the influential fiscal conservative group, warned Thursday Rep. Ron Paul’s unwavering libertarian views stops the Texas Republican from seeing that sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good.

“Ron Paul is ideologically committed to pro-growth, limited government policies,” Chris Chocola, the club’s president, said in its latest rundown of the GOP presidential field. “However, his single-minded focus on achieving a utopian libertarian society based on the U.S. Constitution has often caused him to oppose even good pieces of legislation like pro-growth free trade agreements.”

“Furthermore, his consistent defense of earmarks should give his devotees pause,” Mr. Chocola said. “Overall, we believe that Ron Paul would be a pro-growth president if he can accept the good along with the perfect,” he said.

Mr. Paul, a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, is running again in this cycle and has said he will not run for re-election to his Texas House seat.

In their breakdown of Mr. Paul’s record, which can be found at http://www.clubforgrowth.org/whitepapers/?subsec=137&id=921, the anti-tax group applauds his consistent record on opposing tax and spending increases, while noting a few exceptions, including his support of so-called “pork” projects.

Mr. Paul’s strict ideology also hurts him when it comes to entitlement reform, the group says.

“Just as in trade, this tendency leaves Paul opposing pro-growth reforms of Social Security,” the group says. “He opposes allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts, arguing instead for cutting payroll taxes and leaving it up to workers to do what they will with the savings. While the ideal is admirable, it is not a sufficient reason to oppose the pro-growth, expansion of freedom that personally-owned retirement accounts represent.”

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